A few Sunday Meetings ago, back in the heat haze of mid-August, we finally adopted a Safer Spaces Policy. It's been a glaring omission from the club's constitution and bye-laws arising from our ancient origins when such things were little heard of, and generally thought of as needlessly re-stating the bleeding obvious. But we know better now, and a documented committment to maintaining a safer space is long overdue. In a spasm of laziness we just looked for an existing doc we could "take inspiration from" rather than arguing for ever and a day over the small print, and found a really good one over at the OK Cafe in Manchester. So here then, is our lightly updated version.
We want the 1in12 club to be an autonomous space where everyone can feel safe.
·Everyone has an equal right to be heard and an equal responsibility to listen (people who are used to talking may feel the benefit of listening more, and vice versa).
·Respect and look after the building as a physical space and a resource for all.
·However strongly you feel about a particular topic, resist abusive discussions.
·Any behaviour – physical or verbal – that harms others, or makes existing power imbalances worse, is not welcome.
·Identify your own privileges – the things that sometimes give you an easier ride than others – and actively challenge them.
·Be aware of the range of different identities (gender, race, orientation, class) that people may have, and avoid making generalisations, or assumptions about people.
·Be aware that anyone in the space could be a survivor of a particular form of oppression, for example, violence or racism.
·If someone is feeling uncomfortable, do not hesitate to raise this, if you think it would be appropriate to do so.
·It is everyone’s responsibility to challenge prejudice & oppression, and if we ignore it we are allowing it to happen.
This list does not cover everything and it is up to all of us to help create a space where everyone feels safe and included